„Nur der Rhythmus interessiert“. Überlegungen zum Neuen Hörspiel

Britta Herrmann


Authors working in the genre of the New Radio Play (Neues Hörspiel) in the decades since 1968 have repeatedly and explicitly placed rhythm at the center of their works. Shaped by impulses from Konkrete Poesie, which bear some distinct resemblances to Henri Meschonnic’s thinking about rhythm, the rhythmical forms of these works function on one hand as work on language (Spracharbeit), while on the other the materiality and sound quality of rhythm often take priority over language and its semantic dimension. The genre of the radio play is uniquely placed in terms of rhythm, since rhythms can both structure and be structured by virtually every element of the radio play on virtually every level: rhythm pervades and structures the deployment of voice and language, music and noise as well as audio-technical strategies such as cutting, sampling, etc. This article considers how the phenomena of rhythm(s) might be analyzed media-theoretically and literary-theoretically for acoustic texts: as organization of the movement of meaning beyond verbal semantics, as an aesthetic concept directed at changing our perception, as a means of generating energeia und affective effects, as a contributor to intertextual references. The analytic model developed is illustrated via a detailed analysis of Gerhard Rühm’s 2015 radio play hugo wolf und drei grazien, letzter akt. (BH; in German)

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